T Nation

Always Training Heavy

Hey guys, I’m new and wanted to get a couple of opinions on something. I have been training on a consistent basis for about 2 years now, and have tried a lot of different rep schemes over that time.

4-6 some weeks, 8-10 other weeks, you get the idea.

I am a big Max-OT fan, and always feel the best with their program. I feel sore for days afterwards, and my strength gains are pretty respectable for my size.

My question to you though is, do you think training in a 4-6 rep range almost exclusively, a bad thing? If strength increases, then you’re gaining muscle right?

Thanks

[quote]Bonechiro wrote:
Hey guys, I’m new and wanted to get a couple of opinions on something. I have been training on a consistent basis for about 2 years now, and have tried a lot of different rep schemes over that time.

4-6 some weeks, 8-10 other weeks, you get the idea.

I am a big Max-OT fan, and always feel the best with their program. I feel sore for days afterwards, and my strength gains are pretty respectable for my size.

My question to you though is, do you think training in a 4-6 rep range almost exclusively, a bad thing? If strength increases, then you’re gaining muscle right?

Thanks[/quote]

“It takes mass to move mass”

I heard that somewhere, but yea. If your eating a calorie surplus and your lifts are going up you should be gaining muscle. Just take some progress photo’s and compare your results in a couple months + adjust your diet accordingly.

That help?

Unless you’re comprimising good form or doing something stupid like not eating enough food, then it’s perfectly fine.

I want to make sure this is clear: You only gain muscle if you EAT ENOUGH along with those strength increases.

Thanks yeah that is helpful. When I’ve dieted down, I think it was mostly neural recruitment for the gains, so of course the caloric surplus makes sense.

I know everyone is different, but do you think BW in pounds x 16 is about right for calories?

For what? Losing or gaining?

If you’re looking to diet then BW X 16 would be fine.

If you’re trying to bulk up then it should be more like BW X 20.

If you pay attention to your progress, by keeping a journal of your lifts, as well as checking on a scale that your weight is going up you should be good. If you find yourself stalled or progressing slowly eat more. It’s an art not a science (although science can help).

Thanks for the posts guys. I’ve been stuck at the same weight for awhile now, so I know that I have to eat more. BW x 20 sounds a little high for a 160 lb guy, but I’ll listen to cats that are bigger than me :slight_smile:

To gain size you’re going to want to switch it up.

There are two types of muscle fibers: strength specialists and endurance specialists. The former strengthened by lower rep maximal efforts. The latter built up with more volume.

The type II muscle fibers have to store more fluid to help them resist fatigue, which is obviously better for size gains.

It makes perfect sense that you’re seeing more strength gains than size gains at the 4-6 rep range. The heavy weight is keeping you from getting the number of reps in to work the type II fibers and increase the amount of water-holding glycogen in your muscles.

Oh stop “LiamBrady”, the OP isn’t gaining muscle because he’s not gaining any BODYWEIGHT at all.

I bet if you cram your theory that bodybuilding is somehow about creating bloated sacks of sarcoplasm, you’d actually be making some progress too!

[quote]LiamBrady wrote:
To gain size you’re going to want to switch it up.

There are two types of muscle fibers: strength specialists and endurance specialists. The former strengthened by lower rep maximal efforts. The latter built up with more volume.

The type II muscle fibers have to store more fluid to help them resist fatigue, which is obviously better for size gains.

It makes perfect sense that you’re seeing more strength gains than size gains at the 4-6 rep range. The heavy weight is keeping you from getting the number of reps in to work the type II fibers and increase the amount of water-holding glycogen in your muscles.[/quote]

So are you saying that I should mix up some 8-10 rep ranges with the 4-6? Like lets say I do 12 total sets per group, should I do 6 sets of heavy compound 4-6, and then 6 in a 8-10 range? Or is that too much volume with the intensity?

[quote]mr popular wrote:
Oh stop “LiamBrady”, the OP isn’t gaining muscle because he’s not gaining any BODYWEIGHT at all.

I bet if you cram your theory that bodybuilding is somehow about creating bloated sacks of sarcoplasm, you’d actually be making some progress too![/quote]

Ha or maybe THAT’S the answer :slight_smile: I imagine it would be kind of tough to get stronger AND fat… so it’s all about just gaining bodyweight

Some smaller exercises are better done with higher reps (eg: skullcrushers, calf raises, lateral raises, etc.), but whether you are lifting for sets of 4-6, or 8-12, or 15-20 your goal should always be to push for whatever ideal number of reps you want that are going to indicate that its time to ADD WEIGHT.

Gaining bodyweight with a high protein diet, and doubling/tripling the amount of weight your muscles are repping out to failure in the gym is what makes big muscles.

Not some bullshit theory about engorging muscle cells with water and glycogen to make them bigger.

I like the simplicity of just always adding something, whether it’s reps, weight, or sets, to progress each week. Sounds easy when it’s broken down like that.

If I already have a pretty high protein diet, do you think I should increase overall carbs or fats with the rest of the calories?

A typical day for me is about:
-210 Pro
-200 CHO
-50~ Fat

[quote]mr popular wrote:
Oh stop “LiamBrady”, the OP isn’t gaining muscle because he’s not gaining any BODYWEIGHT at all.

I bet if you cram your theory that bodybuilding is somehow about creating bloated sacks of sarcoplasm, you’d actually be making some progress too![/quote]

Whatever. Be stupid. Bodybuilders train differently than powerlifters for a reason. They look different for a reason.

If that is really a typical day for you then you’re only eating 2090 calories! You should absolutely be bumping something up.

It’s largely an individual thing, some people like to go really high carb during a muscle gaining phase, others like to get their extra calories from fats like olive oil.

I personally don’t bother counting any macronutrients except protein, but if thats your thing I would say bump the carbs up to at least 300 and get more fat in your diet.

If I find that my bodyweight gains have slowed down a little, I add one tbsp of olive oil to my morning protein shake, and I eat a scoop of peanut butter after every solid meal. That’s usually enough to get things going again until my appetite increases enough to get down more substantial food.

This stuff really is very simple.

[quote]LiamBrady wrote:
Whatever. Be stupid. Bodybuilders train differently than powerlifters for a reason. They look different for a reason.[/quote]

You can’t see it, but I’m rolling my eyes at you. For a reason.

[quote]Bonechiro wrote:
I like the simplicity of just always adding something, whether it’s reps, weight, or sets, to progress each week. Sounds easy when it’s broken down like that.

If I already have a pretty high protein diet, do you think I should increase overall carbs or fats with the rest of the calories?

A typical day for me is about:
-210 Pro
-200 CHO
-50~ Fat
[/quote]

try 200 grams fat 50 grams carbs instead of 200 grams carbs 50 grams fat

[quote]cyph31 wrote:
Bonechiro wrote:
I like the simplicity of just always adding something, whether it’s reps, weight, or sets, to progress each week. Sounds easy when it’s broken down like that.

If I already have a pretty high protein diet, do you think I should increase overall carbs or fats with the rest of the calories?

A typical day for me is about:
-210 Pro
-200 CHO
-50~ Fat

try 200 grams fat 50 grams carbs instead of 200 grams carbs 50 grams fat[/quote]

He weighs 160 and he’s trying to bulk. Why the hell would he need to restrict carbs to 50g/day?

Why the hell indeed.

[quote]Bonechiro wrote:
Ha or maybe THAT’S the answer :slight_smile: I imagine it would be kind of tough to get stronger AND fat… so it’s all about just gaining bodyweight[/quote]

No. It’s actually not that hard to get stronger AND fat.

Mr. Popular’s on point though. Eating around 3000kcal/day is a good starting point. I’d suggest also getting around 300g protein a day. Making sure that you’re consistently adding weight to your lifts in the gym. Rep range is important, but size is added in most rep-ranges.

Weigh yourself regularly. If you’re not gaining, change something. If you’re gaining too much (concerned it’s fat), change something else… but be realistic, because adding nothing but muscle is unlikely.